“How Could You Have Known?”: Troy City Council Quizzed on RSS’s International Wing

After the City of Troy, Michigan, met with and praised a local branch of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the international wing of India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) paramilitary, on 27 September, I attended the very next city council meeting to question the mayor and councillors about their decision to do so. Here is what I said:

Two weeks ago, when the City of Troy chose to platform and praise the HSS, how could you have known that the HSS is the international wing of the RSS, a quite literally Nazi-inspired paramilitary in India?

How could you have known that many HSS members in America were previously RSS members in India?

How could you have known that the HSS frequently hosts RSS officials from India to tour and inspect its units in America?

How could you have known that the HSS routinely sends its members to attend RSS training camps in India?

How could you have known that the RSS promotes Hindu nationalism, believes India should be declared a theocratic Hindu nation where non-Hindus are assimilated or eliminated, and teaches that Indian Christians and Muslims are “foreigners,” “internal threats,” and “traitors”?

How could you have known that the RSS founders took direct inspiration from European fascists like Mussolini and Hitler, even praising Nazi treatment of the Jews as a good model to adopt in India?

How could you have known that most HSS meetings feature garlanded pictures of these very same fascist-inspired RSS founders?

How could you have known that not only did an RSS member assassinate Gandhi, but that the RSS today celebrates Gandhi’s assassin?

How could you have known that the RSS regularly conducts anti-minority lynchings, assassinations, terrorist bombings, and large-scale pogroms?

How could you have known that RSS-affiliated groups throughout India are, at this very moment, rampaging through the streets, attacking and murdering religious minorities while openly chanting slogans calling for their slaughter?

How could you have known that the HSS — aside from its commendable nonprofit charitable work — serves as an international propaganda mouthpiece for the RSS and its genocidal Hindu nationalist agenda?

How could you have known that the RSS and the HSS do not represent all Hindus?

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

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